The Max Unger era began at center for the Seattle Seahawks, but it wasn’t exactly how the rookie out of Oregon wanted the transition to take place.
Unger said that everyone on the line would have liked to stay at their positions, but because of the issues Chris Spencer had snapping with his left hand, the coaching snap felt it necessary to make the change.
“It’s not optimal for really anybody on the line,” Unger said about the position change. “We’d like to stay at our spots that we started at for most of the season.”
Unger said the line calls will be the toughest adjustment in making the move from guard to center, and the added responsibility that entails, although Greg Knapp said part of that responsibility will be shared by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
Knapp said one of the primary reasons for making the switch was to improve the beginning of the offensive play, which is the center-quarterback exchange, and that Spencer was struggling to consistently do that with his left hand.
“It’s a good opportunity for Max to play center for us,” Knapp said. “I went back and reviewed for the thought of making this transition what Max did in preseason. … He played quite a bit of snaps and did a fine job, so that was encouraging to review. And this is the reason why he came, was to help compete at the center position for us.”
However, Unger did not get any live snaps with Hasselbeck during the three preseason games that he played in, so he will have to quickly develop a rapport with Seattle’s starting quarterback.
“I wouldn’t say that this was ultimately where I want to be,” Unger said about the change. “I really enjoyed playing guard, and I really got comfortable there. It’s an opportunity, yeah, but at the same time I started however many games (13) at right guard and I definitely feel the best there.
“And having one week to prepare isn’t exactly what I wanted. No one really wanted it to go down exactly like this, but it’s kind of what we have to do.”
Offensive guard Mike Gibson was signed off of Philadelphia’s practice squad to the team’s active roster earlier this season, and is a player that the Seahawks believe could be a good fit in their offensive system.
Gibson is familiar with Seattle’s system, having played in a similar offense in Seattle, and also has zone blocking experience from his time at Cal.
“All I know is I’m going to have an opportunity to play,” Gibson said. “And I plan on taking full advantage of it and hopefully give them a chance not to take me out of the game, that’s the plan.”
Offensive tackle said with the changes up front and Seahawks head coach Jim Mora’s harsh words over the last, few days, the offensive line understands they have to perform better.
“He’s upset,” Locklear said about Mora. “He’s angry, and rightfully so. We went down there and from the opening snap we got embarrassed. And he told us. We all knew it. We don’t need to be told that. We were on the field playing. So he’s upset. He’s been upset. Even now he’s still got a chip on his shoulder. So we all got to take it to heart, and get ready for Sunday.”
Linebacker Aaron Curry (hip) was limited in practice today, and wide receiver Nate Burleson (ankle) is out this week. Both Hasselbeck and receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh were full go.